Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response to
business-to-business, high-tech, and direct marketing.
August 4, 2011
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***Calculating cost per click***
Dana Todd, executive VP of SiteLabs, uses this formula:
Break-even cost-per-click = average gross profit X average
If your gross profit is $50 and your average conversion rate is
2%, then $50 X .02 = $1. Maximum you should pay for
pay-per-click advertising: a dollar per click.
Source: Internet Marketing Report.
***Get an unfair business advantage***
My colleague Graham McGregor has released an excellent 300+ page
E-book that contains some of the best strategies I’ve ever seen
to create an Unfair Business Advantage. It includes interviews
with 25 top sales and marketing experts from 5 countries.
(including yours truly.) It’s available at no charge from:
***E-mail marketing to mobile devices***
When designing e-mail campaigns for mobile devices, the maximum
size of the header should be 110 X 120 pixels. Any larger and
the actual content is pushed too far down, making it harder for
readers to see the main message.
The maximum suggested width for the body of the e-mail is 550
pixels, but it’s even better to use a width of 485 pixels to 500
pixels. At most, you can use a two-column design.
Put the most important information in a wider left column.
Reason: some mobile devices do not fully display the e-mail on
the screen, forcing readers to scroll over to view the right
hand column, which many won’t do.
Source: Target Marketing, 7/11, p. 11.
***Is Your Writing Business “Profitable – By Design”?***
Looking to make your copywriting practice more consistently
profitable? Like the idea of others hunting down work for you
(and a steady stream of it!), without much or any extra work on
your part? Ready to work smarter, not harder?
Then, check out the new e-book from veteran copywriter Peter
Bowerman, author of the popular “Well-Fed Writer” series,
entitled, “Profitable – By Design! Tapping the Writer/Designer
Partnership Goldmine.” In exhaustive, step-by-step fashion,
Peter lays out how to forge your own lucrative design
partnerships, based on 15+ years of successful firsthand
experience! Details at:
***Get employees to solve their own problems***
Fern Dickey, a former manager at a trade association, found that
employees were too dependent on her to solve their problems.
She solved this with a simple retort: “Pretend I’m dead. What
would you do?” Fern reports it worked like a charm.
***Blogging for bucks***
My good friend, prolific author Terry Whalin, has just released
a new e-book “The 31-Day Guide to Blogging for Bucks.”
This is the clearest, most concise no-B.S. guide I have ever
read to making money with a blog. Click here for more
***Include a response device in your direct mail***
A growing trend for direct mail is to omit the response device
and drive recipients to either a toll-free phone number or a
URL. But a recent test by a conference promoter suggests this
may be a mistake.
What happened: the conference promoter added a registration form
to the mailing. Result: Of the 793 registrants, 320 mailed back
handwritten registration forms.
Source: Target Marketing, 7/11, p. 7.
***Free tele-seminar on landing copywriting clients***
If you’re a new copywriter or have been looking for a way to
take your copywriting career to the next level, make sure you
sign up for this very special call.
On Tuesday, August 9th at 12pm ET, three successful working
copywriters are going to show you how to land clients and grow
your business. They’ll share their personal stories and
techniques for accelerating the copywriting learning curve.
And you can listen in absolutely free. Register for free access
***How to qualify direct-mail-generated leads***
A common tactic used to increase response to direct mail is to
offer something free, such as a free report or free consultation.
In the case of the free report, it doesn’t cost much to send out
a booklet or article reprint. So even if some people respond to
your mailing just to get the freebie, no big deal.
But what if you offer a free consultation, evaluation, or
estimate? It takes you time to provide that kind of freebie,
especially if it requires a face-to-face meeting with the
That face-to-face meeting may be your goal, but it’s only worth
your time with a serious prospect. To drive 2 hours to see
someone who just wants the freebie is a waste of time. How can
you prevent it?
Use the words “if you qualify” in your letter. For instance:
“Call now, and if you qualify, you will get a free appraisal of
what your business is worth in today’s market.”
With the “if you qualify” clause, you are not obligated to give
everyone a free appraisal. You can pick and choose who gets it,
making appointments only with solid prospects and passing on the
freebie seekers. That can save you a lot of time and
aggravation. The same technique can be used to qualify leads if
you are giving away something valuable or expensive, such as a
***Tips on copy length***
A trend that has been going on for more than 5 years now is that
consumer copy is getting longer, while business-to-business copy
is getting shorter. Why?
1-Business prospects are busier than ever and have less time to
2-Consumers are more skeptical than ever so need more proof
before they buy.
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***Our 60-second commercial***
Bob Bly is available on a limited basis for copywriting of
direct mail packages, sales letters, brochures, white papers,
ads, e-mail marketing campaigns, PR materials, and Web pages. We
recommend you call for a FREE copy of our updated Copywriting
Information Kit. Just let us know your industry and the type of
copy you’re interested in seeing (ads, mailings, etc.) and if
Bob is available to take on your assignment, we’ll tailor a
package of recent samples to fit your requirements. Call Bob Bly
at 201-505-9451 or e-mail email@example.com.